Suggestions on how to transition from one season of life into another
Suggestions on how to transition from one season of life into another.
By Kristin Caliendo
I long for fall to appear, for those days of Halloween costumes, slow cooker meals, and crisp mornings when I can leave the backdoor open and smell the aroma of my husband’s coffee brewing. I love the change in seasons, but when a season of my life changes, it’s not so welcome.
My youngest child started kindergarten this year and the reality that someone didn’t need me for an entire eight-hour block of time was a change I thought I was ready for. Now, looking down at my computer, I hear nothing but my fingers tapping the keyboard, and the faint hum of the ceiling fan above. I’m alone with my thoughts, surrounded by an unknown stillness. I should feel euphoric, but why do I feel so indifferent? I became painfully aware in that moment––this is how it feels to be unemployed. Without spontaneous trips to the zoo or story time at the library, my purpose seems uncertain, at least for the eight hours my two children are at school.
There is proof that I’m not the only mother experiencing change this time of year. Recently, a close friend of mine sent her youngest of three off to kindergarten and another friend waved goodbye to her 19-year-old son from the steps of the university dorm.
As my children expand upon their knowledge, miles away at school, I look back over the last 10 years of motherhood and I can’t help but wonder, where do I go from here?
No matter where you may find yourself in the parenthood journey, the one thing all parents have in common is that once we decided to have children, our lives changed dramatically. We morphed from who we once were into people we’d been too self-absorbed or busy to notice. Perhaps you’ve been lucky or driven enough to pursue your pre-parenthood dreams all along but, if you’re like me, you might be feeling as if your aspirations have lain dormant for years.
Just as the seasons change, so do we. Some seasons are filled with joy and happiness; others are filled with grief or heartache. I’ve decided for now to keep a stiff upper lip and start exploring what this fresh season of life has in store for me.
With that in mind, here are some ideas for parents in the North Valley on how they can transition from one season of life into another in key areas of personal development.
- Re-enter the workforce part or full time.
- Up your game at work and go for that promotion you had your sights on before having kids.
- Change careers entirely or specialize in a different area you feel passionate about.
- Become a mentor or public speaker in your field.
- Go back to school to finish the degree you were working on before having kids.
- Go back to school for higher education.
- Enroll in a trade school that can prepare you for a new career.
- Take a foreign language class.
- Help out at your child’s school.
- Lend a hand at church or on a mission trip.
- Coach a sport.
- Become a Peace Corps volunteer.
- Spend time helping out at a horse, dog, or animal rescue.
- Drive across the country.
- Visit the country of your heritage or family.
- Indulge in a luxury getaway or take a tour on an eco-vacation.
- Sit your bum on a beach and do nothing.
- Travel like a student on a barebones budget.
- Get crafty––learn to sew or knit.
- Head outdoors and take up fishing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, etc.
- Pursue a sport or find your swing again. Look in your area for a golf lessons, a tennis league, or stir up that adrenaline with BMX racing or skiing.
- Join a book club. Heck, why not write a book? *note to self
- Learn to play an instrument.
- Take a handyman class at Home Depot.
HEALTH & FITNESS
- Make those much neglected doctor appointments––and keep them.
- Plan healthier meals and do more cooking to shed some pounds.
- Set goals and commit to a fitness goal like a 5K, marathon, or triathlon finish.
- Attend a yoga, Pilates, spin, or Zumba class.
- Learn to meditate.
- Meet your spouse for lunch.
- Care for aging parents or grandparents.
- Help your friends and family. Perhaps your sister just had a baby; why not offer to babysit? Your great aunt likes to go the mall, but can’t drive. Why not take her there and help her pick out a new dress?
- Is your spouse overwhelmed at work? Offer to help take on some of his/her tasks such as accounting or marketing.
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